Former ANZ marketer emerges as new CMO at Swinburne University

Carolyn Bendall takes up the marketing and brand reins at the Melbourne-based tertiary education provider

Carolyn Bendall
Carolyn Bendall

Former ANZ marketing leader, Carolyn Bendall, has become the new chief marketing officer at Swinburne University of Technology.

Bendall joins the tertiary education provider after 20 years with ANZ, most recently as its head of marketing, reporting to group CMO, Sweta Mehran. She replaces Sarah Graham, who left Swinburne last year after a five-year stint to become the first executive-level marketing and brand leader at Metro Trains Melbourne.

In a statement, Swinburne vice-president, Dr Andrew J Smith, said Bendall’s experience as a brand leader would be key to ensuring the university continues to build on its world-class reputation and efforts to position itself as a leader in the future of work. Bendall reports directly into Dr Smith.

“Ms Bendall is a visionary thinker with expertise in helping big brands stand out from the crowd,” he said. “Swinburne provides a five-star student experience. Our people are game changers, enabled by a culture of ambition, adventure and achievement. We look forward to Ms Bendall bringing bold and refreshing ideas as we continue to grow our brand.”

Bendall said she was looking forward to joining the university and leading the marketing practice in this next era of education.

“I’m a passionate believer in the life-changing power of education, and the higher education sector is such a diverse and interesting business, especially when looked at through the lens of pace of transformation, intensity of competition and significance to the overall Australian economy,” she commented.

Swinburne has been going through its own period of marketing and digital transformation, all aimed at improving student and alumni engagement. The work culminated in a brand refresh last July, which highlighted the holistic experience on offer at the university. The latest iteration of the brand campaign is again aimed at showcasing that a Swinburne is an adventure worth having and is dubbed ‘Regret nothing’.

“Swinburne was a stand out for me – a leader in diversity and inclusion, committed to evolving the student experience at all touchpoints, and delivering social and economic impact across the board,” Bendall added.

Bendall officially takes up the reins on 17 March. Deputy director of marketing, Amy Whitehead, who has been acting as director of marketing since Graham’s departure last September, remains with the university.

Bendall’s 20-year tenure with ANZ included roles across product management, marketing and communications, customer loyalty and as GM of marketing for Australia.

Read more: CMO interview: ANZ's Carolyn Bendall on gaining customer credit

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